18 February - 4 / 9 March 2023
by Pete Morris
With the closing of the Cana Airstrip in Eastern Panama, our birding tours to Panama had been put on hold for some time, while we waited, and waited, and waited… It eventually became clear that it wasn’t coming back in a hurry and consequently a new strategy was required, and a little more time in-country needed! The strategy we came up with was to split Panama into two reasonably short trips, each with some great key birds, but with a major difference. The Western and Central tour is the ‘easier’ half, largely staying in comfortable accommodation, and with relatively easy walking and living conditions. This tour on the other hand, the Darien Wilderness, requires both a lot more physical effort and much more tricky living conditions, with a lot of very basic camping. The two tours complement each other perfectly, and if combined, as some clients did this year, give a very complete coverage of this extremely birdy country, and indeed, we managed to see a very high proportion of the targets we were seeking.
So back to this tour, which began when we all met up for dinner in our comfortable hotel by Tocumen Airport in Panama City. After a briefing where the first of the early starts was announced, we were soon up and heading east along the Pan-American Highway, joined by our excellent local guide ‘Kilo’. After a few hours’ driving, we paused the journey at Torti, and explored some mixed agriculture and riparian woodland on the outskirts of town. Here we fairly quickly found a couple of target species, namely the smart Grey-cheeked Nunlet and the localized Black Antshrike, as well as Snowy-bellied Hummingbird. Other more widespread, though interesting species included (Lesser) Pied Puffbird, a pair of Spot-breasted Woodpeckers, and the tiny Pacific Antwren. We couldn’t pause for too long as we still had quite a journey, so after a quick coffee, and some organization in the local hotel, we made our way further on our bus before making the rather steep drive, and then walk, up to the excellent Cerro Chucanti. When I say excellent, it’s a great birding destination, though a little basic on the accommodation front!
We took lunch and relaxed for a while around the lodge, noting our first King Vulture and Great Black Hawk from the veranda. Once it cooled down a little, we retraced our steps a short distance below the lodge for a great afternoon’s birding. Top of the list was perhaps the seldom-seen Speckled Mourner, a pair of which showed well, but we also enjoyed White-ruffed, Red-capped and Golden-headed Manakins (some visiting fruiting trees), Brown-hooded Parrot, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Broad-billed Motmot, smart White-whiskered Puffbirds (even posing from the veranda of the dining area), a fine Northern Royal Flycatcher, a singing Slate-coloured Grosbeak and a fabulous Golden-crowned Spadebill, whilst back around the lodge in the dying light we also found our first Ocellated Antbirds, though the views were rather tantalizing!
The following morning, we were off pretty early to make the challenging trek right up to the ridge, where we were to camp for the night. Most of our energy was focused on getting ourselves up there, though we did also see a few nice species as we went including a fantastic Tody Motmot, and, as we got higher, other specialities including Violet-capped Hummingbird, Tacarcuna Chlorospingus and the attractive Varied Solitaire, as well as Blue-throated Toucanet and the stunning Yellow-eared Toucanet, a pair of which we watched displaying! Once at the ridge, we paused at the shelter where we were to spend the night, before continuing along the ridge. Birding was fairly slow and hard-going, as was the walking, but once we reached ‘the zone’ our target soon appeared, as a fabulous pair of Beautiful Treerunners foraged in the lichen-clad cloudforest just above our heads! With the success of the main target now in the bag, so to speak, we were able to bird our way slowly back to the camp. Some time was spent securing excellent views of the localized Russet-crowned Quail-Dove, a brilliant Brown-billed Scythebill was much appreciated and we also saw some smart Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrushes. After a comfortable night, we looked around camp, adding a pair of the difficult Pale-vented Thrush, before embarking on the walk back down. Here we added more good additions including the localized Short-billed Pigeon, Little Long-tailed and Ruddy Woodcreepers, Russet Antshrike, and perhaps the star of the show, a very confiding Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker. We were also intrigued by the mysterious helicopter wreckage in the forest.
Once back at the lodge, we were delighted to get some stupendous views of a fine adult Ornate Hawk-Eagle, both in flight and perched. The rest of the afternoon, and the following morning, we again looked in the forest patches below the lodge, where an active army antswarm was present. Although ‘king cuckoo’ seemed to be absent, we had a brilliant time watching the deputies, an amazing group of brilliant Ocellated Antbirds that showed really well at close range. Alongside them were nearly as attractive, Spotted Antbirds, several Bicolored Antbirds and a Northern Barred Woodcreeper. Also at these lower altitudes, we enjoyed an excellent Black-breasted Puffbird, a fine and showy pair of Green Shrike-Vireos and an extremely well-found Scaly-throated Leaftosser, as well as a few more widespread species such as colourful Gartered and Black-throated Trogons and an unexpected juvenile Ruddy Quail-Dove. Colourful Red-crested Tamarins, and the rare local form of Black-headed Spider Monkey were also much appreciated. We also made an excursion on the rather windy evening below our lodge. Surprisingly, despite the conditions, we were successful in finding a brilliant Crested Owl, its long white ear-tufts blowing horizontally in the wind, and then a fine Choco Screech Owl!
After a great stay at Cerro Chucanti, we retraced our steps to Torti, and had a little time to organize for our expedition into Pirre National Park! We did still find time for another excursion out to the local river, where we were delighted to find the elusive Double-banded Greytail (having heard it last time!). The Black Antshrike was much more showy, a couple of smart Golden-collared Manakins gave great views, several migrant warblers included colourful Prothonotary Warblers and a vagrant Cape May Warbler, and towards dusk we noted a busy Pale-bellied Hermit, trap-lining along the forest edge.
We were again off very early the following day, though got a rude awakening when Kilo stopped the bus to show us a Striped Owl on the roadside wires! We then made our way to the river to take a boat to look for jacamars. It sounds straightforward put like that, but sadly a dispute between the local villagers and the logging company that were covering them in dust on a daily basis, caused the locals to ‘strike’ and close the road. And they were adamant that we would be their first victims!! A few ways around it were attempted and failed, and then we noticed that they had been equally obstructive with a taxi driver stuck on the other side of the barrier! He was livid, but once he’d calmed down, we persuaded him that we could improve his day, and he our day, by us paying him to shuttle us to and from the boat (several kms) and this duly worked! We got there a little hot and flustered, but we got there, and after a bit of organisation, we were off upriver, having noted Chestnut-fronted Macaws flying over!
Heading upriver, we encountered a few species including our only Yellow-tailed Oriole of the tour, and then made an extensive search where our local helpers had recently seen the jacamar. Sadly though, despite much effort, the only jacamars found were the widespread Rufous-tailed Jacamar. After much searching, we made our way back to the start point to pick up more fuel. By this point the river was alive with boat traffic, and we learnt that these were refugees that had walked across the Darien Gap, escaping from countries like Venezuela and Haiti, and they were being escorted to a refugee camp. We were told that thousands of people enter Panama this way on a daily basis, though not all who attempt the long, arduous and difficult walk, make it. Another humanitarian crisis, that it was sad to see and learn about. Having refuelled, we made our way further along the river, seeing a fine Black Hawk-Eagle as we went, and continued searching diligently, but without luck. By now it was time to head back to where the bus was waiting for us, and literally, at the final attempt, the jacamar popped up! Initially staying high, the stunning Dusky-backed Jacamar dropped down into riverside vegetation, and what had been a challenging day, suddenly became a good one!
When we got back to the bus, there was no sign of the demonstration that had closed the road, much to our relief. It transpired that a truck laden with beer had arrived, and the protesters found something better to do, as they now sat happily surrounded by empty bottles! We then made our way to Yaviza, the end of the road (this is where the break in the Pan-American Highway is), and jumped on a boat to El Real. From here we boarded jeeps, and got to the trailhead, though by now it was heading towards dusk. We walked the last few kilometres in to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park, seeing an Olive-backed Quail-Dove as we went, and then set up camp.
Rancho Frio is essentially a large clearing in the lowland forest, adjacent to the river, and with a couple of toilets and cold showers, as well as the Ranger Station, where limited refrigeration, and chairs and tables are available. The main disadvantage of the spot is that it is very warm and humid, so it took us a little while to adjust and acclimatise!
The following morning, we set off in the dark, and made our way a relatively short distance to the staked-out Crested Eagle nest. On arrival a relatively small, though distinctive nestling was on show, but no parents, so the waiting vigil began. We’d met other birders who had waited and not seen the adult, so all we could do was to wait and hope. There were distractions, in particular a fantastic Black-crowned Antpitta which gave amazing views, some Saffron-headed Parrots, and a showy Russet-winged Schiffornis. Better still, we were in luck, and mid-morning the superb female Crested Eagle appeared at the nest and fed her chick and did a bit of spring-cleaning, and we had a fantastic hour or so watching this impressive raptor.
That afternoon and the following day we spent birding the lowlands around Rancho Frio. It was a sweaty, and at times arduous affair, but we saw many great birds. Just around the clearing itself we found a number of goodies in the mixed flocks and these included localized species such as Choco Elaenia, White-ringed Flycatcher, Choco Sirystes, Stripe-throated Wren and the smart Slate-throated Gnatcatcher. On one morning we climbed an adjacent ridge, and spent some time luring in birds with our special ‘Pirre mix’. This worked a treat. A smart Central American Pygmy Owl appeared and was joined by a gang of mobbing birds that included a female Viridian Dacnis (one of the tougher specialities to find), and a number of other interesting species such as colourful Scarlet-browed Tanager, Shining Honeycreeper, and Golden-hooded and Rufous-winged Tanagers. A Purple-crowned Fairy and a Panama Tyrannulet also joined the fray for a while! We found a number of other great birds along the trails close to Rancho Frio, including the localized Plumbeous Hawk, Great Tinamou, smart lekking Blue-throated Sapphires, an impressive Great Jacamar, White-fronted Nunbird (the interesting local form with pale wings), extremely noisy Red-throated Caracaras, Western Olivaceous Flatbill, Rufous Piha and Purple-throated Fruitcrow.
After a couple of days, it was time to break camp, and head higher to the so-called Rancho Plastico. It was a pretty tough uphill hike, but we took our time, and birded as we went, finding many great species. We began with the scarce Semiplumbeous Hawk and a brilliant Splendid Woodpecker (now split from Crimson-bellied Woodpecker). Heading higher, we amazingly managed to line up the elusive Violaceous Quail-Dove in the scope, whilst at a viewpoint we added a tiny Rufous-crested Coquette and White Hawk, as well as Spot-crowned Barbet and our first of many Great Green Macaws.
We eventually arrived at Rancho Plastico, though you barely would have noticed! It was just a very small clearing on the ridge, with zero facilities, but with the help of our trusty team, we set up camp. Finding enough level ground on which to pitch the tents was a challenge, but we managed! The other thing about Rancho Plastico is that there are no trails even approaching level, so any birding around the camp was a challenge! That said, there were plenty of good birds just around the camp. Pride of place perhaps went to the rarely-seen Tawny-faced Quail, which showed brilliantly on a couple of occasions on the forest floor, and we even found a pair at their roost! We spent much time poking around a ravine, where we had superlative encounters with the magical Wing-banded Antbird, as well as a confiding Dusky Leaftosser, the smart Dull-mantled Antbird, the localized Choco Manakin and Southern Nightingale-Wren. Also here, in the mixed flocks, we eventually saw the elusive (on this trip) Sapayoa, as well as Slaty-winged Foliage-gleaner, Ochre-throated Foliage-gleaner, Spot-crowned Antvireo, Eye-ringed Flatbill and Dusky-faced and smart Lemon-spectacled Tanagers. Around the camp itself, we also found Barred Puffbird, Sharpbill, and the interesting White-headed Wren, whilst along the ridge, particularly in the evenings, we saw Great Curassow, Crested Guan, and more Great Green Macaws. Sadly, despite some effort, we only got to hear the difficult Choco Tinamou. Each evening, Short-tailed Nighthawks flew around the camp, and here, we also got fantastic views of another Choco Screech Owl and even a roosting Black-crowned Antpitta!
Whilst at Rancho Plastico, most of us took a hike further up to the camp at Pirre Ridge. Although only a short distance (not much more than a kilometre in a straight line), it was a steep and difficult (500m+) ascent which needed to be negotiated with care. Indeed, it was so steep that four limbs were often required, and birding on the way was really not possible! Once at the ridge, we again set up camp for the night with our reduced crew (some had stayed at Rancho Plastico looking after the non-climbers). After lunch and the following morning, we explored the trail that follows the ridge from the camp, and although not the easiest of trails, it was reasonably level by comparison! We soon found our main targets, namely the chunky Pirre Chlorospingus, the subtle Green-naped Tanager and the smart Pirre Hummingbird, though for some reason, the final endemic, the Pirre Warbler, seems to have become very difficult in this area in recent years, and we had no sign of it. We also had a fantastic encounter with a group of Black-eared Wood Quail, and saw more Russet-crowned Quail-Doves and Varied Solitaires. Other goodies that were new for the trip included Greenish Puffleg, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Zeledon’s Antbird, Sooty-headed and Ochraceous Wrens, Yellow-green Grosbeak, Black-and-yellow Tanager and smart Emerald Tanagers. After dark, we also had a brilliant encounter with Bare-shanked Screech Owl, here, right at the eastern end of its range.
We struggled back down and met up with the others at Rancho Plastico, and after a night there, made our way all the way back down to the steamy lowlands. The lookout was once again productive, and this time we were delighted to watch both Blue Cotinga and snowy white, Black-tipped Cotingas in the scope, and for some, we even managed another Viridian Dacnis, this time a male. Back in the lowlands we also added a few other new ones including Rufous Motmot and Black-bellied Wren, and after dinner, venturing out close to the camp, we found both Common Potoo and another fine Crested Owl.
It was our final morning in the great Pirre National Park, and we were on another mission! News had reached us that a Harpy Eagle had been located, and just an hour away, so this was too good an opportunity to turn down! We again set off early, and it was just over an hour to the nest. Once there we trained the scope on the large and crested juvenile in the nest and waited. We waited as long as we could, but sadly, on this occasion, the adult did not appear, but it was great to watch the youngster, and whilst there, we also saw our first smart Black Oropendolas. Walking out we saw a surprise Sunbittern, but by now we were eager for a hot shower, clean clothes, cold beer and all those other mod cons which were awaiting us in Torti, a good few hours away!
We spent the final morning of the main tour at the excellent San Francisco Reserve on the outskirts of town. Here, our main target, for those that had not seen it, was the endemic Panama Tyrannulet, a pair of which showed well. Some fine Bare-crowned Antbirds were much appreciated, Song Wrens, including a white-throated variant male showed very well indeed, and other highlights included Black-tailed Trogon, Rusty-winged Antwren, White-bellied Antbird, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher and One-coloured Becard. Back by the bus we found Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, and then a fine Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle which perched in a tree before circling overhead. This excellent eagle completed our set of Panama’s large eagles! Whilst watching it we also noted a few migrant Swainson’s Hawks in the air.
After time to pack, and a pleasant lunch, it was time to head back towards Panama City. We did make a slight detour, adding the near-endemic Isthmian Wren, Great Antshrike and a skulking Mourning Warbler. The drive back to Tocumen Airport was uneventful, and gave us time to reflect on what had been an excellent trip! All those eagles, the Dusky-backed Jacamar, the Ocellated Antbirds and antswarms, the Tawny-faced Quails, the Pirre endemics, Crested Owls and other nightbirds, the Wing-banded Antbirds, the Black-crowned Antpittas, the Sapayoa, the many adventures and laughs, and the hardships! It really had been a thoroughly enjoyable, if at times arduous, adventure. For most, the long flights home lay ahead, for an intrepid few, a further adventure into the little-known Cerro Hoya National Park!
Those of us that had signed up for more were off again the following morning, pausing first at the Anton Valley, near El Valle. Here we found the often difficult Slate-coloured Seedeater, a fine singing male posing beautifully, as well as a few other new species including Grey-headed Chachalaca. Some stops in dry and open country yielded the near-endemic Veraguan Mango and Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, and by the late afternoon we’d arrived at our friendly lodge. Here we were entertained by numerous smart Snowy-bellied and Sapphire-throated Hummingbirds at the feeders, and a Garden Emerald, Pale-eyed Pygmy Tyrant and Panama Flycatcher in the garden.
As if we’d not done enough walking up hills, we were now embarking on a trek up Cerro Hoya, beginning at 150m asl, and climbing first to our camp at 1150m asl, and then further on along the ridge to 1280m asl. Although fairly long and arduous, it was manageable, and not too steep! As we left the vehicles we soon enjoyed some feeding Great Green Macaws. Almost as soon as we entered the forest, there was a huge crash as a lump fell through the canopy, almost landing on our guide’s head. I’m still not sure who was more surprised; us or the Colombian White-faced Capuchin than ran off from by our feet and then gazed at us from a tree, looking a little confused and embarrassed! Quite a start!! The lower forest patches held smart Lance-tailed and Orange-collared Manakins, as well as the impressive local form of Black-handed Spider Monkey. It wasn’t long before the distinctive (though seemingly subtly different) calls of Three-wattled Bellbirds cut across the forest air, and we ended up getting magnificent views of several of these great birds! We eventually made it to the camp, dumped some gear, set up camp and had lunch, and then continued on up! We explored the ridge for the rest of the day and again the following morning, when windy conditions made things somewhat challenging.
Our main target in the mossy montane forest was the rare and extremely poorly-known Glow-throated Hummingbird, and I am delighted to report that we saw two males very well and a female briefly. We watched the males perched at length, noting the rounded red gorget, and the distinct and diagnostic tail pattern. Great stuff! We also saw as yet undescribed endemic forms of Lesser Violetear and Purple-throated Mountaingem. Another highlight was seeing the endemic form of Azuero Dove, a slightly more richly-coloured bird than the form on Coiba Island. A great surprise was the presence of a Rufous-necked Wood Rail on both mornings – perhaps they ascend to breed? Other interesting species seen included Stripe-throated Hermit, colourful Violet Sabrewings, vocal Barred Hawks, Lesson’s Motmot, an obliging Northern Schiffornis, Mountain Thrush, the local endemic form of White-naped Brushfinch, and superb Flame-coloured and White-winged Tanagers.
It was worth the hike, and the following day we headed back down, escaping the high winds higher up. A pair of Black-hooded Antshrikes showed well on the way down, and on the drive back to the lodge we found a Boat-billed Heron in a roadside pond. Back at the lodge, interesting Proboscis Bats adorned the ceilings outside our rooms, and, after dark, we had nice views of a Tropical Screech Owl.
On our final day, we saw a few nice common birds around the lodge, before the long drive back to Panama City. Here we had time to pop in to Panama Viejo and Coste del Este where the waterbird spectacle, and in particular wader spectacle, was quite phenomenal. Literally tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Western Sandpipers covered the beach in incredible numbers. A truly amazing spectacle. Other species seen included Marbled Godwit, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Franklin’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, American Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull.
It had again been a tough few days, but the rewards had been good, and we left Panama feeling pretty good about our achievements!
SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES RECORDED
Species marked with the diamond symbol (◊) are either endemic to the country or local region or considered ‘special’ birds for some other reason (e.g., it is only seen on one or two Birdquest tours; it is difficult to see across all or most of its range; the local form is endemic or restricted-range and may in future be treated as a full species).
The species names and taxonomy used in the bird list follows Gill, F., Donsker, D., & Rasmussen, P.(Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v13.2) (this was the current version when the checklist for the tour report was created).
Where the subspecies seen is/are known, these are often given in parentheses at the end of the species comment.
Species only seen on the pre-tour extension are marked (E).
Great Tinamou Tinamus major A couple of sightings, including one with chicks, In Pirre National Park [saturatus]. Heard at Cerro Hoya on the extension [brunneiventris].
Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui (E) Heard only.
Choco Tinamou ◊ Crypturellus kerriae Heard at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. Sadly no response.
Black-bellied Whistling Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis [fulgens].
Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata A few sightings around the Rio Torti.
Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors (E)
Grey-headed Chachalaca ◊ Ortalis cinereiceps (E) Seen on the extension at Rio de Jesus, south of Valle.
Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens Regular sightings in Pirre National Park. Also at Cerro Hoya [aequatorialis].
Great Curassow Crax rubra A couple of decent looks near to Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Marbled Wood Quail Odontophorus gujanensis Heard only, at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park.
Black-eared Wood Quail ◊ Odontophorus melanotis Great views of a small group along the ridge, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Tawny-faced Quail ◊ Rhynchortyx cinctus Superb views around Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. Initially two males seen very well to playback. Others seen more briefly, then superb of a pair found roosting. Stunners [nominate]!
Short-tailed Nighthawk Lurocalis semitorquatus Great views of a pair at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. Also heard and glimpsed at Cerro Hoya [stonei].
Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis (E) Heard only.
Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus Great views of one at Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [panamensis].
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris [bouchellii].
Band-rumped Swift Chaetura spinicaudus [aetherodroma].
Vaux’s Swift Chaetura vauxi [ochropygia].
Short-tailed Swift Chaetura brachyura [nominate].
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift Panyptila cayennensis
White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora [nominate].
Band-tailed Barbthroat Threnetes ruckeri Heard only.
Stripe-throated Hermit Phaethornis striigularis Mainly heard but good views at Cerro Hoya on the extension [saturatus].
Pale-bellied Hermit Phaethornis anthophilus A few seen, the first watched at length at the Rio Torti [nominate].
Green Hermit Phaethornis guy [coruscus].
Long-billed Hermit Phaethornis longirostris [cephalus].
Brown Violetear Colibri delphinae Just one seen, at Cerro Chucanti.
Lesser Violetear Colibri cyanotus (E) A male seen well on two days at Cerro Hoya. An isolated form here, noticeably blue on the belly which may well represent an as yet undescribed taxon.
Purple-crowned Fairy Heliothryx barroti Some nice views, especially in Pirre National Park when mobbing the Central American Pygmy Owl.
Veraguan Mango ◊ Anthracothorax veraguensis (E) Great views of a couple at Atalaya, at the top of the Azuero Peninsula. Seen more or less alongside Black-throated Mango!
Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis [nominate].
Rufous-crested Coquette Lophornis delattrei Great scope views of a male from the viewpoint below Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. Also one at Cerro Hoya [lessoni].
Greenish Puffleg Haplophaedia aureliae A couple along the ridge, in Pirre National Park [floccus].
Green-crowned Brilliant ◊ Heliodoxa jacula [nominate].
Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris [nominate].
Purple-throated Mountaingem ◊ Lampornis calolaemus (E) Many seen on all three days on Cerro Hoya where it is represented by an as yet undescribed form, lacking the iridescent crown.
Glow-throated Hummingbird ◊ Selasphorus ardens (E) Excellent scope views of a male at 1280m on Cerro Hoya, and another male (and a female briefly) at 1250m the following day. The ruby-red and rounded gorget and diagnostic tail pattern were all well documented!
Garden Emerald Chlorostilbon assimilis (E) A male seen in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel.
Violet-headed Hummingbird Klais guimeti One seen along the ridge, in Pirre National Park, and a few at Cerro Hoya [merrittii].
Violet Sabrewing ◊ Campylopterus hemileucurus (E) A few seen at Cerro Hoya [mellitus].
White-vented Plumeleteer Chalybura buffonii A few seen at Cerro Chucanti [micans].
Crowned Woodnymph Thalurania colombica A violet-crowned form seen at Cerro Chucanti [venusta], and a green-crowned form seen in Pirre National Park [fannyae].
Violet-capped Hummingbird ◊ Goldmania violiceps Great views of many females and a few males at Cerro Chucanti.
Pirre Hummingbird ◊ Goldmania bella Three or four females seen well along the ridge, in Pirre National Park.
Scaly-breasted Hummingbird ◊ Phaeochroa cuvierii Best views were at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti. Also seen well in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel [nominate].
Snowy-bellied Hummingbird ◊ Saucerottia edward A few seen, the first at Torti [margaritarum]. Also seen well in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel and on Cerro Hoya [collata].
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl [nominate].
Sapphire-throated Hummingbird ◊ Chrysuronia coeruleogularis A few seen on the main tour [confinis]. Also, brilliant views at the feeders in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel on the extension [nominate].
Blue-chested Hummingbird Polyerata amabilis
Blue-throated Sapphire ◊ (B-t Goldentail) Chlorestes eliciae Many males seen well in Pirre National Park [earina].
Violet-bellied Hummingbird ◊ Chlorestes julie [panamensis].
Greater Ani Crotophaga major
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris (E)
Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia Heard only.
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana [thermophila].
Rock Dove (introduced) (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia ‘feral’
Scaled Pigeon Patagioenas speciosa A few heard and one seen flying over at Cerro Hoya.
Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis [pallidicrissa].
Plumbeous Pigeon Patagioenas plumbea Great views in Pirre National Park.
Ruddy Pigeon Patagioenas subvinacea Heard only.
Short-billed Pigeon Patagioenas nigrirostris Seen well at Cerro Chucanti.
Plain-breasted Ground Dove Columbina minuta (E) One seen well at Atalaya [elaeodes].
Ruddy Ground Dove Columbina talpacoti [rufipennis].
Blue Ground Dove Claravis pretiosa
Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana A juvenile photographed at Cerro Chucanti [nominate].
Violaceous Quail-Dove ◊ Geotrygon violacea Great views of one on the walk from Rancho Frio to Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. Others seen briefly and heard [albiventer].
Olive-backed Quail-Dove ◊ Leptotrygon veraguensis One crossed the track on the walk into Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park.
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi [nominate].
Azuero Dove ◊ Leptotila battyi (E) Great views of a singing bird at c1300m on Cerro Hoya, and a pair and a juvenile at c300m the following day. Appeared a little darker and more richly coloured than Coiba birds [malae].
Grey-chested Dove Leptotila cassinii Heard only [nominate].
Russet-crowned Quail-Dove Zentrygon goldmani Some very good views on the trail and in trees, of c4 individuals along the ridge at Cerro Chucanti. Others heard [oreas]. Also a couple seen (one well) along the ridge, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura (E) [turturilla].
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica A presumed introduced bird at the Rio Torti, or are they spreading east? [australis].
Rufous-necked Wood Rail ◊ Aramides axillaris (E) One seen briefly at c1200m on Cerro Hoya. Responded to playback too!
Grey-cowled Wood Rail Aramides cajaneus A few seen, the first at Rio Torti [nominate].
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica One seen at Rio Torti.
Limpkin Aramus guarauna [dolosus].
Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus (E) [nominate].
Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis [cayennensis].
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola (E) [cynosurae].
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus (E)
Wilson’s Plover Charadrius wilsonia (E) 10+ seen at Costa del Este on the last day [beldingi].
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus [nominate].
Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana The black-backed form hypomelaena.
Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus (E)
Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa (E) Several at Panama Viejo and Costa del Este on the last day [nominate]..
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres (E) One seen at Panama Viejo on the last day [morinella].
Sanderling Calidris alba (E) [rubida].
Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla (E)
Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri (E) Ridiculous numbers, mixed in with Semipalmated Sandpipers at Costa del Este on the last day. 100s of 1000s!!
Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus (E)
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes (E)
Willet (Western W) Tringa [semipalmata] inornata (E)
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla (E) [megalopterus].
Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan (E) At least three 2cys at Panama Viejo on the last day.
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis (E) At least two 2cys at Panama Viejo and a 3cy at Costa del Este on the last day.
American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus (E) Two 2cys at Panama Viejo on the last day.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus (E) An adult at Panama Viejo on the last day [graellsii].
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus (E)
Cabot’s Tern Thalasseus acuflavidus (E) [acuflavidus].
Sunbittern Eurypyga helias One seen well (even spread its wings) but briefly, on the walk out from Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [major].
Wood Stork Mycteria americana
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens [rothschildi].
Neotropic Cormorant Nannopterum brasilianum [nominate].
American White Ibis Eudocimus albus [nominate].
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus (E) A few seen on the extension.
Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius (E) One on a pond on the Azuero Peninsula [panamensis].
Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nyctanassa violacea [caliginis].
Green Heron Butorides virescens [nominate].
Striated Heron Butorides striata [nominate].
Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias [nominate].
Cocoi Heron (White-necked H) Ardea cocoi
Great Egret (American G E) Ardea [alba] egretta
Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor [ruficollis].
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
Snowy Egret Egretta thula [nominate].
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis Seen on the Atlantic side [carolinensis] and the Caribbean side [nominate].
King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa Several seen, especially at Cerro Chucanti.
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus Just one on the boat trip from Nuevo Vigia, near to Meteti. Several more on the extension [nominate].
Osprey (American O) Pandion [haliaetus] carolinensis
Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii Seen well at the Rio Torti [leonae].
Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis A couple seen, the first near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus Including some good migrant flocks from Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Crested Eagle ◊ Morphnus guianensis Brilliant views of an adult female attending a c4month old chick in a nest near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park. Watched at length on the nest, perched nearby and briefly flying. Brilliant stuff!
Harpy Eagle ◊ Harpia harpyja A reasonably advanced juvenile seen in a nest near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park.
Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus A few seen well, the first on the boat trip from Nuevo Vigia, near to Meteti [serus].
Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus melanoleucus Brilliant views of an adult perched and circling at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti.
Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus vicarius Amazing views of one that came down and perched in response to playback at Cerro Chucanti. Others heard during the trip [vicarius].
Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus One for some.
Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus Non leader.
Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea Including some migrating flocks in Pirre NP.
Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis [nominate].
Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis (E) A few on the extension [nominate].
Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens Good views of one at the Rio Torti [balzarensis].
Plumbeous Hawk ◊ Cryptoleucopteryx plumbea Adults seen superbly well perched near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park on two dates.
Common Black Hawk Buteogallus anthracinus [bangsi].
Savanna Hawk Buteogallus meridionalis
Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga A couple, the first at Cerro Chucanti [ridgwayi].
Barred Hawk Morphnarchus princeps Seen distantly in Pirre NP and slightly better at Cerro Hoya.
Roadside Hawk Rupornis magnirostris [alius].
White Hawk Pseudastur albicollis Some great views of perched birds in Pirre NP and also looking down on flying birds at Cerro Hoya [costaricensis].
Semiplumbeous Hawk ◊ Leucopternis semiplumbeus Good views of a skittish adult perched a little way above Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park.
Grey-lined Hawk Buteo nitidus [blakei].
Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus [nominate].
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus [fuliginosus].
Swainson’s Hawk Buteo swainsoni A couple seen well at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti.
Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus A few seen well.
Central American Pygmy Owl ◊ Glaucidium griseiceps One seen very well above Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park. Several others heard there.
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl Glaucidium brasilianum (E) Only seen on the extension [ridgwayi].
Striped Owl Asio clamator One seen on wires pre-dawn on the drive from Torti to Meteti [forbesi].
Bare-shanked Screech Owl ◊ Megascops clarkii Great vews of one in the mist at the ridge camp, in Pirre National Park.
Tropical Screech Owl Megascops choliba (E) One seen well in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel [luctisonus].
Choco Screech Owl ◊ Megascops centralis Great views at Cerro Chucanti and at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park.
Crested Owl Lophostrix cristata Great views at Cerro Chucanti and at Rancho Frio (a couple of times), in Pirre National Park [wedeli].
Mottled Owl Strix virgata [nominate].
Slaty-tailed Trogon Trogon massena Several seen well [hoffmanni].
Black-tailed Trogon Trogon melanurus A male seen well at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti [macroura].
White-tailed Trogon Trogon chionurus
Gartered Trogon Trogon caligatus [concinnus].
Black-throated Trogon Trogon rufus [tenellus].
Collared Trogon Trogon collaris Heard only [heothinus].
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana [septentrionalis].
Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata [nominate].
Tody Motmot ◊ Hylomanes momotula Great views on a couple of occasions at Cerro Chucanti [obscurus].
Lesson’s Motmot ◊ Momotus lessonii (E) Seen at Cerro Hoya on the extension [nominate].
Whooping Motmot Momotus subrufescens First seen at the Rio Torti [nominate].
Rufous Motmot Baryphthengus martii Seen on the walk down from Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [semirufus].
Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum Just one seen at Cerro Chucanti [minus].
Dusky-backed Jacamar ◊ Brachygalba salmoni After much effort, brilliant views of one on the boat trip near to Meteti. Initially high, but came right down to eye level.
Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda A few seen on the boat trip near to Meteti [melanogenia].
Great Jacamar Jacamerops aureus Great views of one near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [penardi].
Black-breasted Puffbird ◊ Notharchus pectoralis One seen well at Cerro Chucanti.
Pied Puffbird Notharchus tectus A few seen well, the first at the Rio Torti [subtectus].
Barred Puffbird ◊ Nystalus radiatus Great views of a pair at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park.
White-whiskered Puffbird Malacoptila panamensis Seen very well at Cerro Chucanti and on Cerro Hoya [nominate].
Grey-cheeked Nunlet ◊ Nonnula frontalis Great views of one at the Rio Torti [stulta].
White-fronted Nunbird Monasa morphoeus Several seen well in Pirre National Park. Smart form with pale wings [pallescens]!
Spot-crowned Barbet ◊ Capito maculicoronatus A few seen in Pirre National Park [rubrilateralis].
Blue-throated Toucanet (Violet-throated T) Aulacorhynchus [caeruleogularis] cognatus Several seen well, the first at Cerro Chucanti.
Collared Aracari Pteroglossus torquatus [nominate].
Yellow-eared Toucanet ◊ Selenidera spectabilis Brilliant views of a few, the first pair at Cerro Chucanti.
Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus [brevicarinatus].
Yellow-throated Toucan (Chestnut-mandibled T) Ramphastos [ambiguus] swainsonii
Olivaceous Piculet Picumnus olivaceus [flavotinctus].
Black-cheeked Woodpecker Melanerpes pucherani
Red-crowned Woodpecker Melanerpes rubricapillus [nominate].
Red-rumped Woodpecker Veniliornis kirkii Heard and seen by some.
Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker ◊ Piculus callopterus Brilliant views of a couple of females at Cerro Chucanti, a confiding female and another excavating a nest.
Spot-breasted Woodpecker Colaptes punctigula A pair seen at the Rio Torti [ujhelyii].
Cinnamon Woodpecker Celeus loricatus [mentalis].
Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus [nominate].
Splendid Woodpecker ◊ Campephilus splendens Great views of one on the walk up from Rancho Frio to Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. Note the species has been split from Crimson-bellied Woodpecker by the IOC since our visit.
Crimson-crested Woodpecker Campephilus melanoleucos [malherbii].
Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus Great views of these noisy beasts at Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park.
Crested Caracara (Northern C C) Caracara [plancus] cheriway
Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima [cordata].
Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans
Barred Forest Falcon Micrastur ruficollis Heard only [interstes].
American Kestrel Falco sparverius (E) [nominate].
Merlin Falco columbarius A couple seen including a perched bird at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti [nominate = Taiga Merlin].
Blue-fronted Parrotlet ◊ Touit dilectissimus Heard flying over a couple of times in Pirre National Park and glimpsed by some.
Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis [nominate].
Brown-hooded Parrot ◊ Pyrilia haematotis [coccinicollaris].
Saffron-headed Parrot ◊ Pyrilia pyrilia Heard, and seen by most of the group, near to the Crested Eagle nest at Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park.
Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus [rubrigularis].
Red-lored Amazon Amazona autumnalis [salvini].
Mealy Amazon (Southern M A) Amazona [farinosa] farinosa
Brown-throated Parakeet Eupsittula pertinax (E) Many seen well on the extension [ocularis].
Chestnut-fronted Macaw Ara severus Seen flying over on the journey to the boat trip from Nuevo Vigia, near to Meteti.
Great Green Macaw ◊ Ara ambiguus Several seen very well in Pirre National Park and also seen well at the base of Cerro Hoya [nominate].
Red-and-green Macaw Ara chloropterus Several seen well in Pirre National Park.
Finsch’s Parakeet Psittacara finschi (E) Heard only from the Heliconias Hotel.
Sapayoa ◊ Sapayoa aenigma Seen a few times at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park, though generally elusive there!
Dusky Leaftosser ◊ Sclerurus obscurior Brilliant views at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. This species rather than Tawny-throated Leaftosser [andinus].
Scaly-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus guatemalensis Brilliant views at Cerro Chucanti [salvini].
Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus Seen well at Cerro Hoya on the extension [sylvioides].
Little Long-tailed Woodcreeper ◊ Deconychura typica Great views of a couple of individuals at Cerro Chucanti. Note the split since the tour [darienensis].
Ruddy Woodcreeper Dendrocincla homochroa Seen well at Cerro Chucanti and again at Cerro Hoya [ruficeps].
Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa [ridgwayi].
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus [pallidulus].
Northern Barred Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae Brilliant views a few times including the first at the antswarm at Cerro Chucanti [nominate].
Cocoa Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus susurrans Seen on the main tour [marginatus] and extension [costaricensis].
Black-striped Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus A common and attractive woodcreeper on the tour [nominate].
Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius First seen well at Cerro Chucanti [insolitus].
Brown-billed Scythebill ◊ Campylorhamphus pusillus Brilliant views of one high up at Cerro Chucanti [olivaceus].
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii Only seen at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti [lineaticeps].
Plain Xenops Xenops genibarbis Seen on the main tour [littoralis] and extension [ridgwayi].
Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans Heard, and seen by some.
Slaty-winged Foliage-gleaner ◊ Philydor fuscipenne Great views of a few around Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [erythronotum].
Lineated Foliage-gleaner Syndactyla subalaris Seen well along the ridge, in Pirre National Park [tacarcunae].
Ruddy Foliage-gleaner Clibanornis rubiginosus Heard, and seen by some.
Ochre-throated Foliage-gleaner ◊ Automolus ochrolaemus Seen very well at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. Note the split from Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner since the tour [pallidigularis].
Spotted Barbtail Premnoplex brunnescens Heard only.
Beautiful Treerunner ◊ Margarornis bellulus Brilliant views of a fabulous pair high up along the ridge at Cerro Chucanti.
Double-banded Greytail ◊ Xenerpestes minlosi Great views of one, after a fair amount of effort, at the Rio Torti, and also heard at Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [umbraticus].
Wing-banded Antbird ◊ Myrmornis torquata Brilliant views of a pair and a presumed immature male at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park, and presumably the same trio nearby a couple of days later. Real crackers and easy to see relatively well [stictoptera].
Russet Antshrike Thamnistes anabatinus Seen well at Cerro Chucanti [coronatus].
Dot-winged Antwren Microrhopias quixensis [consobrina].
Checker-throated Stipplethroat ◊ Epinecrophylla fulviventris
Moustached Antwren Myrmotherula ignota Seen pretty well at Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Pacific Antwren ◊ Myrmotherula pacifica A pair seen well at the Rio Torti.
White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris [albigula].
Slaty Antwren Myrmotherula schisticolor Briefly on the main tour and seen well at Cerro Hoya [nominate].
Rusty-winged Antwren Herpsilochmus frater After a few attempts, good views of a pair at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti [exiguus].
Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis [suffusus].
Spot-crowned Antvireo ◊ Dysithamnus puncticeps A female seen and others heard at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park.
Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus [nigricristatus].
Black-hooded Antshrike Thamnophilus bridgesi (E) A few seen well at Cerro Hoya and in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel.
Black Antshrike ◊ Thamnophilus nigriceps Males seen well a couple of times at the Rio Torti.
Black-crowned Antshrike Thamnophilus atrinucha [nominate]
Fasciated Antshrike Cymbilaimus lineatus [fasciatus].
Great Antshrike Taraba major A male seen well at the Rio Torti [obscurus].
Ocellated Antbird ◊ Phaenostictus mcleannani Stunning views of several at an antswarm at Cerro Chucanti [nominate]. Brilliant experience!
Bicolored Antbird Gymnopithys bicolor Stunning views of several at an antswarm at Cerro Chucanti [nominate].
Dusky Antbird Cercomacroides tyrannina (E) Seen well at Cerro Hoya [crepera].
Spotted Antbird Hylophylax naevioides Best were the stunning views of several at an antswarm at Cerro Chucanti [nominate].
Chestnut-backed Antbird Poliocrania exsul Three forms recorded. Two ‘Chestnut-backed’ forms: niglarus first seen well at Cerro Chucanti and occidentalis heard at Cerro Hoya. The ‘Short-tailed’ form cassini (this form has spotty wing bars) was seen well near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park.
Dull-mantled Antbird ◊ Sipia laemosticta Great views at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park.
White-bellied Antbird Myrmeciza longipes A pair seen well at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti [panamensis].
Bare-crowned Antbird ◊ Gymnocichla nudiceps Great views at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti.
Zeledon’s Antbird ◊ Hafferia zeledoni A pair seen well by the camp along the ridge, in Pirre National Park [berlepschi].
Black-faced Antthrush Formicarius analis Heard only [panamensis].
Streak-chested Antpitta ◊ Hylopezus perspicillatus Heard only [perspicillatus].
Black-crowned Antpitta ◊ Pittasoma michleri Stunning views of a male by the Crested Eagle nest near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park and another found roosting at Rancho Plastico [nominate].
Choco Tapaculo ◊ Scytalopus chocoensis Good views of one along the ridge, in Pirre National Park.
Sooty-headed Tyrannulet Phyllomyias griseiceps A pair seen well at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti.
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet Tyrannulus elatus
Forest Elaenia Myiopagis gaimardii [macilvainii].
Choco Elaenia ◊ Myiopagis parambae A few seen well, including a few scope views, in mixed canopy flocks around Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [absita].
Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata (E) Heard only [accola].
Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster [pallididorsalis].
Mountain Elaenia Elaenia frantzii (E) Fairly common high up at Cerro Hoya [nominate].
Brown-capped Tyrannulet Ornithion brunneicapillus Several seen well, the first at Cerro Chucanti.
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum [flaviventre].
Northern Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Nesotriccus incomtus (E) [eremonomus].
Yellow Tyrannulet Capsiempis flaveola Heard only [semiflava].
Mistletoe Tyrannulet Zimmerius parvus
Panama Tyrannulet ◊ (Yellow-green T) Phylloscartes flavovirens One seen mobbing a Central American Pygmy Owl near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park, and then great views of a pair at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti.
Olive-striped Flycatcher Mionectes galbinus Several see in Pirre National Park [hederaceus].
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus Several see in Pirre National Park [parcus].
Slaty-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon superciliaris Heard only, low down at Cerro Chucanti.
Northern Scrub Flycatcher Sublegatus arenarum (E) [nominate].
Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant Myiornis atricapillus A couple seen well in Pirre National Park.
Southern Bentbill Oncostoma olivaceum Heard only.
Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant Lophotriccus pileatus A few seen [luteiventris].
Pale-eyed Pygmy Tyrant Atalotriccus pilaris (E) Good views in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel [wilcoxi].
Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum [wetmorei].
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum nigriceps A tiny pair seen well at the San Francisco Reserve near to Tort.
Eye-ringed Flatbill Rhynchocyclus brevirostris One seen well at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [hellmayri]. Also, one seen well at Cerro Hoya on the extension [nominate].
Western Olivaceous Flatbill Rhynchocyclus aequinoctialis A few seen around Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park. Note the split since our visit [bardus].
Yellow-olive Flatbill Tolmomyias sulphurescens [flavoolivaceus].
Yellow-winged Flatbill Tolmomyias flavotectus
Ochre-lored Flatbill Tolmomyias flaviventris Heard only [aurulentus].
White-throated Spadebill Platyrinchus mystaceus Great views higher up in Pirre National Park [neglectus].
Golden-crowned Spadebill Platyrinchus coronatus A few including fantastic views of one near to the lodge at Cerro Chucanti [superciliaris].
Northern Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus [berlepschi].
Northern Tropical Pewee Contopus bogotensis Seen well at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti. Note the split since our visit[brachytarsus].
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris (E) Heard only, at Cerro Hoya.
Acadian Flycatcher Empidonax virescens Much easier to hear than see!
Pied Water Tyrant Fluvicola pica Just one on the boat trip near to Meteti.
Long-tailed Tyrant Colonia colonus [leuconota].
Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius [nominate].
Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis [hellmayri].
Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis [columbianus].
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus [guatimalensis].
Lesser Kiskadee Philohydor lictor [panamensis].
White-ringed Flycatcher ◊ Conopias albovittatus Seen very well in the clearing at Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus [maculatus-group].
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua [mexicanus].
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus [satrapa].
Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana [monachus].
Rufous Mourner Rhytipterna holerythra Heard only [nominate].
Choco Sirystes ◊ Sirystes albogriseus Great views a few times at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park.
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer Seen on the main tour [brunneiceps] and extension [nigricapillus].
Panama Flycatcher ◊ Myiarchus panamensis (E) Only seen on the extension, including in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel [nominate].
Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus
Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus [sclateri].
Purple-throated Fruitcrow Querula purpurata
Rufous Piha Lipaugus unirufus Several seen well in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Three-wattled Bellbird ◊ Procnias tricarunculatus (E) Brilliant views of several males and even a couple of females at Cerro Hoya. Four males seen and others heard on the way up, and interestingly, two females seen visiting a displaying male on the way down. Both were dismissed by the male!
Blue Cotinga ◊ Cotinga nattererii Great scope views of a male from the viewpoint below Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park.
Black-tipped Cotinga ◊ Carpodectes hopkei Good scope views of a couple from the viewpoint below Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park.
Lance-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia lanceolata (E) A few seen well on the extension, low down at Cerro Hoya and in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel.
White-ruffed Manakin Corapipo altera Fairly common with many seen well at mid-altitudes [nominate].
Choco Manakin ◊ Cryptopipo litae Seen well at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [suffusa].
Velvety Manakin Lepidothrix velutina Heard only [minuscula].
Golden-collared Manakin ◊ Manacus vitellinus Great views of males, the first at the Rio Torti [nominate].
Orange-collared Manakin ◊ Manacus aurantiacus (E) Great views of a fabulous male at the base of Cerro Hoya.
Red-capped Manakin Ceratopipra mentalis A few seen well at Cerro Chucanti [ignifera].
Golden-headed Manakin Ceratopipra erythrocephala Several, the first at Cerro Chucanti [nominate].
Sharpbill Oxyruncus cristatus Great views of one from the clearing at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [brooksi].
Northern Royal Flycatcher ◊ Onychorhynchus mexicanus Seen at Cerro Chucanti, and great views at Cerro Hoya [nominate]. However, please note that the Royal Flycatchers are about to be re-lumped.
Sulphur-rumped Myiobius Myiobius sulphureipygius A few, the first seen well at Cerro Chucanti [aureatus].
Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher Terenotriccus erythrurus A few seen well [fulvigularis].
Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor [albitorques].
Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata Seen on the main tour [columbiana] and extension [costaricensis].
Northern Schiffornis ◊ Schiffornis veraepacis (E) One seen well on Cerro Hoya [dumicola].
Russet-winged Schiffornis ◊ Schiffornis stenorhyncha Excellent views of one near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [panamensis].
Speckled Mourner ◊ Laniocera rufescens Brilliant views of a pair below the lodge at Cerro Chucanti. Relatively quiet and furtive [nominate]!
Cinnamon Becard Pachyramphus cinnamomeus [nominate].
White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus [similis].
One-colored Becard Pachyramphus homochrous One seen at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti [nominate].
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis (E) Seen well on Cerro Hoya [perrygoi].
Green Shrike-Vireo ◊ Vireolanius pulchellus A pair showed superbly well low down at Cerro Chucanti [viridiceps].
Tawny-crowned Greenlet Tunchiornis ochraceiceps Seen well at Cerro Chucanti [nelsoni].
Lesser Greenlet Pachysylvia decurtata [darienensis].
Golden-fronted Greenlet Pachysylvia aurantiifrons Seen well at the Rio Torti [nominate].
Yellow-green Vireo Vireo flavoviridis (E) A couple seen well at Cerro Hoya.
Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus Seen at Cerro Chucanti and at Cerro Hoya.
Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons Several seen well.
Black-chested Jay Cyanocorax affinis [zeledoni].
Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea
White-thighed Swallow Atticora tibialis A couple seen flying around by the lodge at Cerro Chucanti [minima].
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea [nominate].
Barn Swallow (American B S) Hirundo [rustica] erythrogaster
American Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota Seen at the Rio Torti and again at the base of Cerro Hoya [pyrrhonota-group].
White-headed Wren ◊ Campylorhynchus albobrunneus Seen well by the camp at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [harterti].
Sooty-headed Wren ◊ Pheugopedius spadix Good views of one along the ridge in Pirre National Park.
Black-bellied Wren ◊ Pheugopedius fasciatoventris Seen well near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [albigularis].
Rufous-breasted Wren Pheugopedius rutilus Heard on the main tour and seen well at Cerro Hoya [hyperythrus].
Rufous-and-white Wren Thryophilus rufalbus (E) Seen well at Cerro Hoya [castanonotus].
Isthmian Wren ◊ Cantorchilus elutus Great views at the Rio Torti, and again in Atalaya on the extension.
Buff-breasted Wren Cantorchilus leucotis [galbraithii].
Bay Wren Cantorchilus nigricapillus [schottii].
Stripe-throated Wren ◊ Cantorchilus leucopogon A pair seen well at Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park. Others heard there.
House Wren (Southern H W) Troglodytes [aedon] musculus [inquietus].
Ochraceous Wren ◊ Troglodytes ochraceus A couple seen along the ridge, in Pirre National Park [festinus].
White-breasted Wood Wren Henicorhina leucosticta Seen well at Cerro Chucanti [alexandri] and heard in the Darien [darienensis].
Grey-breasted Wood Wren Henicorhina leucophrys [collina].
Southern Nightingale-Wren (Scaly-breasted W) Microcerculus marginatus Brilliant views of one at Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [luscinia].
Song Wren Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus Seen very well at the San Francisco Reserve near to Torti, where a white-throated variant male showed very well indeed [lawrencii]!
Trilling Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus Heard only [panamensis].
Tawny-faced Gnatwren Microbates cinereiventris Heard, and seen by some.
Slate-throated Gnatcatcher ◊ Polioptila schistaceigula Several seen well around Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park where first seen. Some great views, and all seemed to be males.
White-browed Gnatcatcher Polioptila bilineata [superciliaris].
Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus [tolimensis].
Varied Solitaire ◊ Myadestes coloratus Brilliant views of several on the upper slopes of Cerro Chucanti, and along the ridge, in Pirre National Park. A smart bird!
Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus aurantiirostris (E) Seen well on the slopes of Cerro Hoya [griseiceps].
Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus fuscater Great views above the upper camp at Cerro Chucanti, and along the ridge, in Pirre National Park [mirabilis].
Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus One seen briefly at the antswarm at Cerro Chucanti [swainsoni-group].
Mountain Thrush ◊ Turdus plebejus (E) Great views on Cerro Hoya [nominate].
White-throated Thrush Turdus assimilis (E) Many seen on Cerro Hoya [campanicola].
Pale-vented Thrush Turdus obsoletus Good views of a pair near the upper camp at Cerro Chucanti [nominate].
Clay-colored Thrush Turdus grayi [casius].
House Sparrow (introduced) Passer domesticus [nominate].
Yellow-collared Chlorophonia ◊ Chlorophonia flavirostris Heard only, along the ridge, in Pirre National Park.
Yellow-crowned Euphonia ◊ Euphonia luteicapilla
Thick-billed Euphonia Euphonia laniirostris [crassirostris].
Fulvous-vented Euphonia ◊ Euphonia fulvicrissa [nominate].
Orange-bellied Euphonia Euphonia xanthogaster [chocoensis].
Rosy Thrush-tanager Rhodinocichla rosea (E) A few heard only in dense thickets on the upper slopes of Cerro Hoya [eximia].
Tacarcuna Chlorospingus ◊ Chlorospingus tacarcunae Brilliant views of many on the higher slopes of Cerro Chucanti.
Pirre Chlorospingus ◊ Chlorospingus inornatus Great views of many along the ridge, in Pirre National Park. A chunky species!
Orange-billed Sparrow Arremon aurantiirostris [strictocollaris].
Chestnut-capped Brushfinch Arremon brunneinucha [frontalis].
White-naped Brushfinch Atlapetes albinucha (E) Great views of several of the endemic subspecies on the walk up Cerro Hoya from the camp [azuerensis].
Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna (E) [subulata].
Red-breasted Blackbird (R-b Meadowlark) Leistes militaris
Chestnut-headed Oropendola Psarocolius wagleri (E) A few seen near to Cerro Hoya.
Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus [melanterus].
Black Oropendola ◊ Psarocolius guatimozinus Great views of several by the Harpy Eagle nest near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park, and a few seen well at a colony on the drive back to El Real later that day, including displaying birds.
Yellow-rumped Cacique Cacicus cela [vitellinus].
Scarlet-rumped Cacique Cacicus microrhynchus Heard and seen by some.
Yellow-backed Oriole Icterus chrysater (E) Heard only, at the bottom of Cerro Hoya [giraudii].
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas One seen on the boat trip from Nuevo Vigia, near to Meteti [carrikeri].
Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius [nominate].
Orange-crowned Oriole Icterus auricapillus
Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus [nominate].
Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis [cabanisii].
Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus (E) Only seen near to Cerro Hoya [nominate].
Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris lugubris First seen around Nuevo Vigia, near to Meteti [nominate].
Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus [peruvianus].
Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera A few very smart individuals seen well.
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea Several seen well.
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
Mourning Warbler Geothlypis philadelphia A couple seen well, at Rio Torti and Cerro Hoya.
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina A single vagrant seen and photographed badly at the Rio Torti.
Tropical Parula Setophaga pitiayumi [inornata].
Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea
Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca
American Yellow Warbler Setophaga aestiva
Mangrove Warbler Setophaga petechia A male seen at Panama Vieja on the last day [erithachorides-group].
Chestnut-sided Warbler Setophaga pensylvanica (E)
Black-throated Green Warbler Setophaga virens A couple seen well on Cerro Hoya.
Buff-rumped Warbler Myiothlypis fulvicauda [semicervina].
Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus (E) [godmani].
Canada Warbler Cardellina canadensis Several seen well.
Slate-throated Whitestart Myioborus miniatus [ballux].
Dusky-faced Tanager Mitrospingus cassinii Good views near to Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Flame-colored Tanager ◊ Piranga bidentata (E) Seen very well on Cerro Hoya [citrea].
Tooth-billed Tanager Piranga lutea [testacea].
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra [nominate].
White-winged Tanager Piranga leucoptera (E) Great views of this stunner at Cerro Hoya [latifasciata].
Red-crowned Ant Tanager Habia rubica (E) A few seen at Cerro Hoya [vinacea].
Carmiol’s Tanager ◊ Chlorothraupis carmioli Heard and seen briefly at Cerro Chucanti [lutescens].
Lemon-spectacled Tanager ◊ Chlorothraupis olivacea Seen well a few times in Pirre National Park, where easier to hear than see.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
Yellow-green Grosbeak Caryothraustes canadensis A few seen along the ridge, in Pirre National Park [simulans].
Blue-black Grosbeak Cyanoloxia cyanoides [nominate].
Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza [argutus].
Black-and-yellow Tanager ◊ Chrysothlypis chrysomelas Several seen well in Pirre National Park [ocularis].
Scarlet-browed Tanager ◊ Heterospingus xanthopygius A few seen well near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Yellow-backed Tanager Hemithraupis flavicollis A few seen well near to Rancho Frio, in Pirre National Park [ornata].
Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus [chocoanus].
Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus [carneipes].
Shining Honeycreeper ◊ Cyanerpes lucidus Several seen well, sometimes alongside the similar Purple Honeycreeper [isthmicus].
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis ◊ Dacnis venusta [fuliginata].
Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana [ultramarina].
Viridian Dacnis ◊ Dacnis viguieri A female seen well in the scope to the east of Rancho Frio, in Pirre NP. A male seen briefly that day then distant scope views of a male below Rancho Plastico, in Pirre National Park. A tricky speciality!
Streaked Saltator Saltator striatipectus [nominate].
Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus [iungens].
Slate-colored Grosbeak Saltator grossus [saturatus].
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola [columbiana].
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina [splendens].
Grey-headed Tanager Eucometis penicillata Several seen well [cristata].
White-shouldered Tanager Loriotus luctuosus [panamensis].
Lemon-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus icteronotus A few seen on the boat trip near to Meteti.
Crimson-backed Tanager Ramphocelus dimidiatus [nominate].
Variable Seedeater Sporophila corvina [hicksii].
Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis [nominate].
Thick-billed Seed Finch Sporophila funerea (E) Only seen in the garden of the Heliconias Hotel [ochrogyne].
Slate-colored Seedeater ◊ Sporophila schistacea (E) Brilliant views of a singing male (a couple of others heard) at Rio de Jesus, south of El Valle.
White-eared Conebill Conirostrum leucogenys One seen well at the Rio Torti [panamense].
Speckled Tanager Ixothraupis guttata Just one or two in Pirre National Park [eusticta].
Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus [cana].
Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum [atripennis].
Golden-hooded Tanager Stilpnia larvata Seen on the main tour [fanny] and extension [franciscae].
Green-naped Tanager ◊ Tangara fucosa Great views of one along the ridge, in Pirre National Park, though not as colourful as hoped, perhaps due to the slightly misty conditions.
Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola Seen in Pirre NP [deleticia] and on Cerro Hoya on the extension [bangsi].
Rufous-winged Tanager ◊ Tangara lavinia A few seen well in Pirre National Park [nominate].
Emerald Tanager ◊ Tangara florida Seen well along the ridge, in Pirre National Park.
Silver-throated Tanager Tangara icterocephala [icterocephala].
Plain-colored Tanager Tangara inornata [languens].
Derby’s Pale-eared Woolly Opossum (Central American W O) Calluromys derbianus
Common Opossum Didelphis marsupialis
Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth Choloepus hoffmanni
Brown-throated Sloth (B-t Three-toed S) Bradypus variegatus
White-nosed Coati Nasua narica
Kinkajou Potos flavus
Proboscis Bat Rhynchonycteris naso (E)
Colombian White-faced Capuchin Cebus capucinus
Red-crested Tamarin (Geoffrey’s T) Saguinus geoffroyi
Mantled Howler Monkey Alouatta palliata
Black-headed Spider Monkey Ateles fusciceps
Black-handed Spider Monkey Ateles geoffroyi (E)
Central American Agouti Dasyprocta punctata
Western Dwarf Squirrel Microsciurus mimulus
Red-tailed Squirrel Sciurus granatensis
Variegated Squirrel Sciurus variegatoides (E)